Join Susie Lau and Take the #Secondhandfirst Pledge This Week

#Secondhandfirst Week  was launched by the fashion reuse charity TRAID to celebrate the power of second-hand to change the world by keeping the resources we already have in use for longer. This year, it runs from 23 – 28 November.

Take TRAID’s #SECONDHANDFIRST Pledge and let them know what percentage of your wardrobe you will commit to sourcing second-hand, rather than buying new. Tweet your progress to @traid #secondhandfirst

Susie Lau of Style Bubble has taken TRAID’s Pledge in support of #Secondhandfirst Week, will you?

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This year I took part in Fashion Revolution’s #haulternative – a new way of refreshing your wardrobe without having to buy new. You can see many of my great secondhand finds in this video. If you would like to make your own #haulternative video to show off the great #secondhandfirst finds you have made, there is now a brilliant guide to the Haulternative available to download on the Fashion Revolution website: http://fashionrevolution.org/get-involved/

One of my best charity shop finds of recent months has to be this pair of gold Valentino trousers for just £10 in our local cancer research shop.

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TRAID charity shops, and many of its partners in London, across the UK and globally, are hosting a week of events and actions designed to connect you to the huge environmental and social benefits of second-hand and to encourage you to buy less new. Over-consumption is having a seriously negative environmental impact on the planet, while exploitative labour and unsafe working conditions are commonplace in our supply chains. This insatiable demand on rapidly diminishing resources, like land and water, simply cannot continue. Sourcing more of our clothes and other goods second-hand reduces consumption, our use of scarce resources, waste and carbon emissions. At the same time, we extend the life-cycle of wearable clothes and other material objects while sourcing things in more interesting and socially beneficial ways like swapping, lending and making.

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Events and ways to take part include:

  • Late night charity shopping will help you to rebalance your wardrobe way from buying new to second-hand
  • TRAIDTALKS with author and design activist Professor Kate Fletcher on how we use our clothes
  • Spoken word performances from poet and rapper Potent Whisper, Sabrina Mahfouz and other guests
  • Plastic Seconds Jewellery Workshop transforming unrecyclable plastics into art objects led by Maria Papadimitriou
  • Screen printing with reclaimed garments with Peckham’s Captured in the Rye
  • Discover the lost art of darning at repair workshops run by TRAID and Fabrications
  • Global film screenings of the documentary ‘Udita’ by documentary makers Rainbow Collective on Bangladeshi women workers in the garment industry
  • A ‘river of waste’ art installation at Hornsey Town Hall and much more.

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This year, #Secondhandfirst Week coincides with Black Friday, a day of price cuts by major retailers on items like TV’s, furniture and clothes designed to create a frenzy of consumption that has seen fights, crushes and huge queues over discounted goods. Black Friday is an uncritical celebration of materialism without regards for its impacts on people and planet. #Secondhandfirst Week provides a counterpoint to this orgy of consumption and aims to increase society’s appetite for second-hand as a viable alternative to buying new.

Maria Chenoweth Casey, TRAID’s Chief Executive and a passionate proponent of second-hand said, “#Secondhandfirst is more than a week, it’s a philosophy that celebrates and recognises the power of reusing clothes – and other resources – to improve our world, and, it’s a practical way of immediately adopting a more sustainable way of living.”

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The benefits of dramatically increasing our use of second-hand goods also includes a social and cultural dimension that has the potential to transform us from individual consumers into collective citizens connected to communities and people rather than material objects, and that loosens the grip of advertising and corporations on shaping our style and identity.

Fittingly, #Secondhandfirst Week ends on Sunday November 29th the day of the global People’s Climate March in London. This march aims to break last year’s record for the largest climate change mobilisation in history, and TRAID will be making a banner from second-hand textiles and invites everyone to march with them to stop climate change.

Image credits: Traid and Fashion Revolution

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